Tough week! You have been going non-stop for what feels like forever and you know you need some TLC. You aren’t sure how you want to spoil yourself until it dawns on you: mmmm, a massage sounds great!
Wait a minute though... You’ve had plenty of massages, some good, and some not so good. You wonder, is it worth the gamble to spend money for a service that may or may not satisfy why you did it in the first place?
Last time you got a massage, you could tell your therapist was just going through the motions.
You wanted SO BADLY to speak up when they worked that one sweet spot, but just glossed over it. You thought, “How can I tell someone how to do their job?”
An internal conversation started in your head to fight the urge to voice your preferences. It sounded something like this:
Mind: "They know what they are doing i’ll just take what they give me and enjoy it."
Body: "No you paid for this just say something, it will be worth it."
Mind: "Well it’s too late now they moved on to my legs."
Body: "Well there goes their tip, maybe that will give them a hint."
Back and forth you had this argument, and before you knew it, the massage was over and your body missed out on the biggest benefit. Your mind was so busy arguing with your body's needs that your muscles never fully relaxed. You held your breath, constricting the circulation which delivers oxygen to your muscles. You stressed the entire time, and without realizing, negated the effect of the body work you recieved.
Now comes the awkward part, when you have to fake a smile when asked how you feel. You leave dejected and maybe a little surprised at how powerless you felt to speak up, despite the repeated attempts your mind made to SAY SOMETHING!
I have been a therapist for 5 years and can tell you that this is a therapist's worst enemy. Not only does this type of experience harm you as a client, it sets the therapist and future clients up for failure. Failure to gain perspective for clients individual needs. Which inevitably keeps a therapist from professional growth without them even knowing it.
Massage therapists are artists, which makes every session unique. Oftentimes therapists use techniques they enjoy receiving. Without empowering our clients to openly communicate their needs, a therapist won't ever gain the insight needed for growth.
I receive massage often, and have had this type of experience many times. Critiquing a therapist's touch, and wanting to speak up and talking myself down from saying something.
I am so grateful for these experiences as they have taught me more than receiving amazing massages. They allowed me to see through a client's eyes,
I would have never anticipated that I, AS A THERAPIST, wouldn’t feel comfortable speaking up. Once I started having conversations about pressure, pace, temperature, insecurities, I saw an immediate change in the quality of massage I received.
In life, there is always more to learn, and the same is true for even the most educated massage therapists.
Next time you receive a massage, try this: do a web search for a massage technique you haven't heard of and ask your therapist to use this technique in your next session. Our bodies' needs will change on a day to day basis. Your individual needs require multiple modalities to heal.
One thing is for sure, your therapist wants you to have the best massage each and every time. We put our heart and soul into our artistic bodywork which makes your satisfaction the best gratuity we will ever receive.